Letters to the Editor: September 13

Gran Fondo's Team Klostapukin; the Kimberley Aquatic Centre

Team Klostapukin

We are Team Klostapukin — a five-woman from Lethbridge and Calgary. This was the first time doing Kootenay Gran Fondo ride for us and it was a fantastic experience.

Registration was well organized, lots of very friendly volunteers and terrific sponsors. Rails to Trails path was unique and scenic as well as safe. The meal after was delicious! Nice entertainment!

We were presented the Team Spirit award and enjoyed the afternoon at The Heid Out. Thanks Heidi for the generous prize, amazing food and beer. Appreciate you taking the time to give us the tour and history behind your wonderful establishment!

Thank you and see you next year;

Team Klostapukin

Kimberley Aquatic Centre

I’ve heard a lot of negative talk about the Kimberley Aquatic Centre recently. Some think it costs too much and that it is under used. I’ve worked there since the doors opened 10 years ago and I’d like to give you a different perspective.

Money and value are two very different things. The Aquatic Centre brings value to the City of Kimberley. It employs 20-plus people, there is a very active seniors group and a lot of families who use the pool.

Many young families have told me that the pool was a big drawing card when they were choosing where to live, build their businesses and raise their families.

Many seniors say that without the pool they would suffer from reduced mobility and increased pain. It keeps them active and socially happier. The value is that they make fewer trips to the doctor and generally feel healthier.

People who have suffered an injury or have had surgery are using the pool for rehab. Their recovery time is shorter and they return to their jobs and lives more quickly.

Then we have the school kids. Every child in Kimberley’s school system has the opportunity to be in swimming lessons. There are programs in place so that kids can have lessons whether or not their family can afford it. They learn basic skills that could save their own life or someone else’s. Don’t let an empty parking lot fool you into thinking nothing is happening at the pool. There is most likely a school bus sitting nearby or the kids have walked down from school.

A Swim Club parent said to me “Kids in sports stay out of courts.” We have some amazing, dedicated athletes in this group. They are winning all kinds of medals. Future Olympians? Wouldn’t that make Kimberley proud? They train here.

We have a large community of business owners and organizations who also see value in the pool. They show this by sponsoring FREE Community Swims. By their generosity families can use the pool and don’t need to be concerned about the cost.

All these people pay taxes and choose to live and spend their money here in Kimberley.

There’s another group. People from all over the world have visited our pool. They consistently tell us that we have a real gem here. They too choose to spend their money and time here in Kimberley. The Aquatic Centre is often the face of Kimberley. When we give visitors friendly, quality service they want to come back. They leave Kimberley believing that it really is a ‘Good Place to Be.’

It is rare to find a pool anywhere that makes money. The referendum was a long time ago and the reality is, we have a pool here. It may cost in one respect but it brings revenue to Kimberley in other ways. It is a valuable asset. Why not promote it? Maybe with support it would get closer to running in the black. Don’t confuse the bottom line with true value.

Tami Kaldestad, Kimberley